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Aurora Safari Camp: The safari with no animals

The old-growth forest backed away in every direction as far as the eye could see. Low-slung branches, webbed in black lichen, splintered from thick trunks, undoubtedly providing a perfect hiding place for all manner of creatures. Wolves, lynx, bears.

Kerry laughed.

“The bears are still hibernating,” she said, as she led me along the narrow footpath into the camp where I’d be spending the night. Tall and athletic, Kerry struck the image of an archetypal safari guide. Her introductory speech, however, was far less textbook.

“In terms of animals you might see during your stay here, possibly a couple of rabbits,” she noted as we continued walking, her high-pitched English accent contrasting with her heavy-booted footsteps. “I think I actually saw a squirrel the other day.”

We walked on through the trees until the camp came into view, a huddle of canvas tents and wooden cabins surrounding a square fire pit. It was a scene that could have been plucked from a glossy safari brochure, had everything not been covered in a thick layer of fresh snow.

Located on the boundary of Lapland province in far northern Sweden, Aurora Safari Camp made history as the first tented winter glampsite to operate in an Arctic climate. Since 2013, visitors from all corners of the world have travelled to this remote Scandinavian safari camp to bed down in freezing conditions, despite the fact that, for much of the year, there are no animals to see here. The obvious question is: why?


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